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Unread 10-04-2005, 09:43 PM   #1
Kabukiyasha
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Cloud Strife: FF AC In-depth Tutorial

I wrote this up for a guy in another thread, but here's the more detailed write up (the other one didn't have boots and harness etc). I thought this might solve the problem of the questions being thrown around about Cloud. The tutorial is split up into sections due to length. The patterns are in the later sections.

Estimated cost of cosplay: All prices are in Australian dollars.
Wig - 70 dollars

Sword - 20 to 50 dollars, depends on the wood and paint. Try not to use ply, it'll just fall apart or snap since the sword is rather big and long.

Cloth - You'll need about 3-4m of heavy drill to leave yourself room for error. Using medium drill is also enough. The drill prices will vary from place to place, but you're looking at about 30 dollars.

Top - You can make this top yourself or modify it from a cardigan/sweater vest. You can find the bases in op-shops for 10 dollars, or buy something online. DO NOT buy a 50 dollar cardigan to cut the sleeves off... >< The thread that Senzu started has some good sources for this.

Emblem - I recommend moulding plaster... I had to use plasticine then coat it with a hardener... NOT nice. The plaster might cost you about 20 dollars, depends on how competent you are and how many mistakes you make.

Armour - Paper mache, fibre glass moulds and all that resin casting bull is nice but too expensive. You're better off just buying the armour from a professional armouror (there are ones online that sell Cloud armour, perfectly made, with emblem). Paper mache is easier and cheaper. It only costs you 5 dollars of good PVA.

Straps, Belts, Buckles - 20 dollars, you will need about 6m worth of strapping. Three large-ish buckles, 4 x 25mms (1 inch) and 1 that's slightly wider than 1 inch. This will cost you about 20 dollars.

Harness at back - Particle board, black fabric and leather scraps. 20 dollars.

Pants - Cloud's pants has some straps and stuff on them, that's why you needed the 4 one inch buckles. Just go buy any op-shop pants that are black/very dark navy blue. Cargos are good. You're looking at about 10 to 20 dollars.

Boots - Common school shoes will do, make coverings for them with drill and zippers. About 5 dollars. If you don't have school shoes add another 30 dollars.

Gloves - Cloud has a pair, one's short, one's long, both have a thin strap around the wrist. They'll probably cost you 30 dollars.

Phone - The black LG | U8360s are perfect. They are also a lot cheaper than Cloud's actual phone ^.^ Just ask one of your friends to lend you one. It's a 3 phone though, so I'm not sure if it's possible to get them overseas. (I live in Australia.)

Make-up - Get cheaper stuff, but make sure it's the right colours. See the tutorial for a recommendation of colours.

All up the costume costs about 250 to 300 dollars. More if you order the earring and contact lenses. Contact lenses are about 40 dollars for a pair of crystalline blue. Centre.net.au uses startrek express, it's about 50 dollars incl postage, and they are based in Australia, but I ordered mine the night before and it arrived on the morning after before I went to walk my boyfriend to work.

The earring will set you back about 50 dollars (US) since you can't get the 2 cent versions on ebay yet.

So it's not a cheap costume although all the bits and pieces look fairly straight-forward.
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Unread 10-04-2005, 09:47 PM   #2
Kabukiyasha
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Tutorial section:

Wig: Essential, try to get an ash-blond wig if you can, bright gold is too bright. If you're looking for cheapness, try ordering online but the cheaper the wig, the faker it will look. Part the wig first so that you get the lope-sided cloud hair thing, then start from the bottom layer of spikes and work up, easiest way is to spray, spike, then cut. If you need reference pictures that are DRAWN with the layers of spikes set out, then please post a request for it, I'll put up the pictures I did.

Top: Just buy the sweater if you can't find the ribknit top. If you're adding a zipper yourself please make sure you starch the sides you cut or sewing tape it, otherwise it will stretch and wrinkle.

Armour: Use a longish balloon and papermache it, then cut the armour to something resembling the piece in the patterns attachment.

Emblem: Use a ring (2 dollar shop hoop earrings at the larger sizes work great here). Fill with moulding material, so that you have now got a circular base to work off. Now build the wolf layer by layer, start with the mouth piece (You can insert two wings there to hold the O-ring). Flare out to the mane, then add layers for the forehead and ears, put in eyes then finally the brow. Please see attached photos.

Straps/buckles: See attached reference picture. Note: Make sure the strapping you buy fits the buckle, remember to line the outside edges with the inside edges of the buckles. Strapping is hard to cut along, and it frays like anything, if you must cut it along the length, make sure to heat-treat it with your stove or a zippo. I don't recommend holding a lit lighter along it for too long... ^^;

Sleeve: Make yourself some sleeves out of cheaper patterning fabric, like calico or something, cut the sleeves as a trapezium and sew along one edge to fit. You can modify as you like it. Then just cut open that and use it as a pattern for the drill sleeve. I recommend having the sleeve go all the way up your shoulder like a full sleeve, it hides any imperfections better that way under the armour.

Flap: Rectangle, make sure the width is enough to reach the midpoint of your pelvic bone both in front and behind, the length should be enough to reach the floor when you're not in boots AFTER you've folded it down about 30cm. (This is for the 'seam' Cloud has on his flap thing. It's not necessary, but it's nice.) I'll be taking some photos of my costume piece later, if you need them urgently just request it and I'll post them up.

Pants: He pants need cargo-style side pockets and straps to hang off them. There are also straps on the bottom of the pantlegs where the edges can be pulled up... for what reason I'm not too sure. There are also straps around his knees, so that it fits just inside the bend. Again reference pictures can be requested.

Gloves: Buy the gloves, add the straps around the wrists. Use press-studs if you don't want to bother riveting and cone-studding.

Harness: See pattern. The bulk of it is particle board, since I didn't want to fork out and actually use belt leather to make functional harnesses for his swords. If you want to do it out of leather I recommend studying up leather-work for a while, since you need to make a base and wrap it in mock-suede then trim the edge and line it with a thicker garment leather in tan or mahogany.

The way I did it was by using cardboard to cut out the basic rectangles and shapes, then attaching them with just a stapler. I then strapped and tried out the harness and when that worked cut the particle board to size and wrapped/glued down a nice synthetic black fabric that was almost mock-suede quality. Then I added the edges and detailing with garment leather. The bolts and rivets are actually just stuck on endcaps.

Boots: The boots are a little more complicated, but the simplest way to do it is probably to make a sleeve sort of thing that fits over your boots about half way up the foot, add a zipper at the centre, then two thinner zippers to the sides. The lazier version is just to do the three zippers and have a flap strapped to the boot at the back.

Make up: Cosplaying as Cloud will generally require make-up, unless you are a perfect human being who happened to have Cloud's exact skin-colour and face-shape... Possible, but not very likely for the majority of us.

- Foundation: Where most make-up artists will say you will look stupid if you go more than two shades lighter than your own skin colour, it depends on your wig. If you HAVE the Cloud wig done then your hair colour is going to be gold or ash-blond, and if you have olive skin, going two shades lighter won't help your case, you will still look like a beach-boy, more Tidus than Cloud any day.

Just choose the foundation that suits your wig, ignore the conventions. But PLEASE make sure you blend the foundation in. If your skin colour is naturally very dark (beyond a pale olive) I actually recommend not doing Cloud, or using a more ashen/brownish colour wig. Since goint 10 shades lighter might look silly afterall. If you have oily skin make sure to powder often at the convention. And bring your foundation with you.

- Eyes: Rim the eyes with a brown pencil. Orange and reds work well here too, as long as they are used with subtlety. The red shade will bring out the green in blue eyes though, so be careful how you use it. To make your eyes look bluer when you have green avoid using reds, try for blue blends and grays with the brown. Rim the result with a light shade of bark or gray, use black only if you need to make your eyes seem much bigger than your own.

Use brown eyeshadow just under the brow to give yourself a more prominent forehead. Dab small amounts of red at the corner of your eyes for a good anime-like effect.

- Lips: Line with neutrals and browns, use neutral colours or colours designed for men. You can use slightly darker shade towards the inside of your lip to make it appear more full. It's also useful to line the top 'v' with a SLIGHTLY lighter shade than your foundation so that it gives the nice 'pert' illusion.

- Cheeks: Use some gray-toned blush to raise your cheek-bones and give your face a more masculine look, this is important especially if you're a girl.

- Nose: Putting brown blush or blending in strokes of eyeliner at the bridge of your nose (to either side, not on the nose) will give illusions of a higher nose-bridge. Very useful for Asians like moi. ^_^

- Neck: If you want an adam's apple (if you'e a girl...) just give yourself an illusionary one by using grayish or blue blush just under where the adam's apple should be.

- Scar: Cloud acquires a small cut on his left eyebrow during the beginning of the movie. It's a slightly curved cut that curves away from his eye. Use red eyeliner and draw the line, then build on it with wax or chicken fat. If you don't want a raised line, just use white pencil and draw to either side of the red eyeliner, it will give it a 'raised' look.

I hope I haven't forgotten anything in this write-up. If I have, please do message me. ^_^
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cloud_Details.jpg (113.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Cloud_model.jpg (10.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Cloud_Straps.jpg (23.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Cloud_HairBoots.jpg (31.0 KB, 0 views)
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Unread 10-04-2005, 10:52 PM   #3
Kabukiyasha
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Realized I forgot the sword and glasses...

Sword: A friend is making this for me, since I don't do wood-work. It will probably end up being very heavy... so it'll be a show-piece and not much of a functional weapon. I don't recommend using ply or cardboard, at the size the sword is, it'll snap. If you can find breadboard material at that size... it would be perfect.

Glasses: Go op-shopping, the glasses I got cost me about 5 dollars from a variety store.
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Unread 10-05-2005, 08:22 AM   #4
Sephirosu-sama
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Cloud has 1 set of gloves that are the same length. Its just on his bare-arm, he then has a tight-fitting leather arm-cover. It gives the appearance of a 'double glove'.

Also you CAN get really cheap versions of Cloud's earrings now. About $15 for a pair. You'll need two sets, because he has a Cloudy Wolf cuff-link on each glove, as well as the one on his ear. That leaves one earring left over in case you lose one somewhere.
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Unread 10-05-2005, 08:59 PM   #5
Kabukiyasha
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Thanks for adding that Sephi-sama. I've bought the earring and the pendent/ring/straps set, so I'm resin casting the rest. ^_^

Revision: The arm cover that goes just below the elbow is actually the same fabric as the glove, a dark brown leather with a seam just on the inside edge of the arm. Recommendations for making it look authentic is to use small smears of PVA and talc. Garment leather is probably going to be too thin to look good for this...

The edge of the vambrace-like garment falls under the edge of his glove.

As Sephi-sama pointed out, the 'studs' on the strap around each wrist is a Cloudy Wolf head.
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Unread 10-06-2005, 05:29 PM   #6
- Kadaj -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephirosu-sama
Also you CAN get really cheap versions of Cloud's earrings now.
You can?
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Unread 10-06-2005, 10:01 PM   #7
Kabukiyasha
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Now probably, though I haven't yet found them. But mine should arrive today, if not I'll have to go with the old idea and make them myself ><...

Here's a tiny photo of the newly completed Cloudy Wolf emblem (I had to use my phone camera ><). I wish I had better moulding materials available than plasticine. But I got sick and couldn't buy any.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P10-07-05_11.51.jpg (4.8 KB, 0 views)
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Unread 10-07-2005, 08:41 AM   #8
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Yes, they've actually been out for ages! I bought my set back in March or something like that. I'm not necessarily recommending this shop, as I've never bought anything from them, but they have the earring sets:

http://store.animebooks.com/fifaviiclwoe.html
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Unread 10-07-2005, 09:00 AM   #9
Zegen
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For anyone inetrested in the sword I'm actually working on one commission done in Foam and Fiberglass to keep it lightweight but still accurate. It will look like the final sword pictured below. I am able to commission these in bulk becasue they are rather simple. If anyone is interested please feel free to PM me.
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Unread 10-10-2005, 07:24 PM   #10
Kabukiyasha
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Here are photos of the sword and the wolf's head emblem.
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File Type: jpg Group3.jpg (77.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg CloudyWolf.jpg (26.1 KB, 0 views)
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Unread 10-10-2005, 08:09 PM   #11
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The promised drawing for Cloud's pants is coming tomorrow I'm afraid, I'm a bit swamped at the moment trying to catch up on my webmanga 'Virus'.
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Unread 10-13-2005, 12:59 AM   #12
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This is my favourite photo out of the convention photos we did get. >< Kabu looks so fat on stage from a low angle. They raised the townhall stage into a catwalk, so thankfully someone took a photo from the galleries.

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=501055

We turned FFVII AC into a yaoi tribute... XD
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Unread 10-13-2005, 10:44 PM   #13
diagofury
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I need help on the belts... Most of the belts I've looked through are pretty short and won't reach my legs. Where can I buy extra long belts? And for the buckles.. its surprisingly really hard to find plain rectangular belt buckles here..
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Unread 10-15-2005, 01:22 PM   #14
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Some stuff you may want to add:

-I found the exact weave of the fabric used for Clouds Sleeve/Skirt/Pants in my local fabric land. Like EXACT. And it was a type of linen, fairly heavy, and about 20$ a meter. So if you wanna go nutso accurate, I'd look at linen.

-Insanely detailed sword Anaylsis for people wanting to make the sword/swords:
http://www.ff7acmovie.com/articles/ff7ac_reviews_and_analyses/cloud's_6_piece_
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Unread 10-15-2005, 01:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diagofury
I need help on the belts... Most of the belts I've looked through are pretty short and won't reach my legs. Where can I buy extra long belts? And for the buckles.. its surprisingly really hard to find plain rectangular belt buckles here..
Um, you can't buy belts that long.
You'll need to buy the long strapping (basically long woven strips that are on a roll, and made from different materials) from your local fabric store. The amount according to your measurements. Buy the buckles seperately, then attach.
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